UCLA/Getty Conservation Program

A graduate conservation training program focusing on the conservation of archaeological and ethnographic materials


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UCLA/Getty Program Welcomes Visiting Scholar Dr. Pujun Jin

The UCLA/Getty Conservation Program welcomes visiting scholar Dr. Pujun Jin, who will be with us through November 2016.  During his time here, he will be working Dr. David Scott examining ancient Chinese bronzes. Dr. Jin joins us from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shaanxi Normal University, China.  He received his Ph.D. in Scientific History and Archaeometry from the University of Science and Technology of China. His current research focuses on the metallurgical examination of artifacts excavated from the site of Sanxidui dating to the Shang Dynasty.  He is also studying the lost-wax technique used to cast a bronze mou (cooking vessel) from the Ba Culture and the corrosion and conservation of ancient Chinese plated bronzes.

Pujun Jin

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UCLA/Getty Program Welcomes Visiting Scholar Dr. Guofeng Wei

The UCLA/Getty Program welcomes visiting scholar Dr. Guofeng Wei, who will be working with us through January 2016. Dr. Wei comes to us from the Department of History, Anhui University, China.  He received his Ph.D. in Scientific History and Archaeometry from the University of Science and Technology of China. His current research focuses on the recipes and crafts of historical lime mortars of China, as well as a study on the application of traditional stick rice-lime mortar in conservation of cultural relics.  More recently, he carried out research studying the trace element characteristics of copper prills in slag from Tangjidun sites of copper smelting dating back to the late Shang Dynasty (ca. 1300 BC) in Anhui Province.  In addition he is studying the casting technology of bronze vessels dating from the late Shang Dynasty to Spring and Autumn Period (ca. 1300BC – 470 BC) from Zongyang County.

Dr. Wei will be providing lectures for some of our programs courses, as well as conducting his own research while he’s here.  He is currently giving two lectures on ancient metallurgy and metal casting in the course Conservation Laboratory: Metals II  (CAEM 239).

Dr. Guofeng Wei


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Conservation Program Welcomes Visiting Students from China

In January, the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program welcomed two visiting students from China.  Yali Yun and Jianxi Li, two doctoral candidates at the University of Science and Technology Beijing, will be conducting research for their dissertations on ancient metals and be working with Dr. David Scott.

Yali Yun

Yali Yun

Yali Yun’s research focus is on technical studies of ancient metal in Western Dian (Yunnan) China. She is also interested in researching methods used in Chinese traditional art and crafts.

Jianxi Li

Jianxi Li

Jianxi is focusing his research on the early metallurgy of central China. He is also interested in ancient Chinese inscriptions and texts which refer to metals and metallurgical practices.

Both Yali and Jianxi will be working with Dr. Scott until June examining and analyzing samples they brought for their dissertation research. They will also be sitting in on conservation classes offered in the winter and spring quarters


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Project News: The application of cyclododecane (CDD) for lifting fragile lacquer fragments from burial environments

Research for this poster was conducted as part of the course “Science of Conservation Materials and Methods I” (CAEM M216) and presented at the Annual Conference of the Association of North American Graduate Programs in Conservation (ANAGPIC), Buffalo State College, April 24-25, 2009

The production of lacquer varnishes has a long history in Chinese arts and crafts that dates to the Qin (221-206 BCE) and Han (206 BCE-220 AD) Dynasties. Unfortunately, lacquer wares (commonly made with a wooden substrate) from burial sites especially in northern China were seldom preserved, owing to underground water, seasonal fluctuations and other unfavorable conditions such as soil chemistry. What archaeologists usually find on excavation sites are pieces of lacquer stuck on wet soil; the wooden substrate having completely deteriorated.

This project explores different approaches and materials that would enable conservators and archaeologists to safely lift fragile lacquer fragments without causing further mechanical damage, while keeping humidity constant, thus preventing the shrinkage of the lacquer. A series of experiments were therefore formulated simulating burial conditions containing lacquer fragments and different conservation materials and methods were tested to determine how best to lift the fragile lacquer. The best results were obtained by facing the lacquer with molten cyclododecane (CDD), a waxy cyclic hydrocarbon that sublimes at room temperature, over pre-wet, loose-woven cotton cloth. By utilizing the versatile properties of CDD and the pre-wet cloth, the lacquer fragments were successfully lifted from the experimental setting without further observable damages and without causing any chemical or physical alteration.

Poster-The use of cyclododecane (CDD) for lifting fragile lacquer from burial environments